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2012 political races starting to take shape

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: 2012 political races starting to take shape
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Attention has already turned to 2012's presidential race, as the potential field of republican challengers to President Obama takes shape. But there will also be races for congressional seats that could prove just as important in determining the nation's future course. YNN's Bill Carey says the new representative for the 25th Congressional District seems ready to run again after just half a year on the job.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It has been a busy six months. In Washington, Ann Marie Buerkle and other republicans have launched challenges to many Obama administration policies. While at home, the new representative has been hard at work keeping in contact with her new constituents.

Memorial Day brought stops at several parades across the area. Buerkle says she's enjoying her new job.

"We've accomplished so much. We still have a lot of work to do. I've learned so much. There's still a lot more to learn. But being the representative for the 25th district is the biggest honor and I take it so seriously. We have a great district, with a lot of wonderful people," said Buerkle.

The congresswoman's votes have not been uniformly well-received. She has been the target of protests by some groups. And reaction, six months in, is mixed.

"I haven't formed an opinion," Camillus resident Liz Reed said.

"Nothing yet?" our reporter asked.

"Nothing yet. Not long enough," Reed said.

"I think she's doing a great job. I think she is. There's a lot of bad press for her, but either party gets that," said North Syracuse resident Joel VanDeWalker.

"I'm not really impressed with her. I'm sorry, but I'm not. I don't think she knows exactly what is needed in this area," said Patricia Schone of Liverpool.

Sixteen months away from the 2012 elections, a familiar voice is stirring. The one term democratic congressman that Buerkle ousted in November says he is close to making a decision on running again.

Democrat Dan Maffei, in a statement saying Buerkle's representation has been, in his words, worse than we expected. Maffei claiming her votes and public statements are those of a far right wing ideologue.

Buerkle will not discuss the Maffei statement, this weekend. She says it's a time to focus on Memorial Day and the sacrifices made by veterans and not a weekend for politics.

There are some signs of encouragement for the freshman lawmaker.

"We need some sanity in Washington. You're it," one parade goer said.

And if Maffei runs, there is no doubt, it will be a rematch.

"Do you expect to be seeking another term?"our reporter asked.

Buerkle replied, "Oh, sure. Yes."

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